[NetBehaviour] Monument to the End of the Road

Anthony Stephenson aps0loot at gmail.com
Wed Apr 28 20:27:35 CEST 2021


Fresh out of college, I was commissioned by Los Angeles Contemporary
Exhibitions (LACE) to build the site-specific sculpture “Dreamstand” in
downtown Los Angeles. While this was a good experience for a young artist
like me to learn how to deal with my given time and budget as well as
securing city approvals, I think that it may have worked on a more
metaphysical level as well. While this sculpture was built as a combination
speakers’ podium (facing city hall) and covered park bench (which I was
informed while removing it that it was being used as a “home” for one of
the local homeless), it may have acted like a Stairway to Heaven for me –
except that the state where I landed was home to a pro sports team known as
the Devils, being based on a creature said to have existed in it’s
so-called Pine Barrens. Before leaving the City of Angels, I did a student
work in which a car and the highway were major components. On 8mm film and
called “Drawing”, it was shot at night as I drove onto a circular onramp
and about a mile of freeway. An expansion of this idea was later done with
“Cloverleaf” in which special effects and audio were added to the video of
getting off and on the four ramps of a highway interchange. Videos of loops
and roads and even paintings of intersections followed – many shared here
on the netbeavior list. Many of my experimental works use Paul Virilio’s
notion of dromoscopy – a perspective that is found in motion. An ontology
of motion has been written by Thomas Nail in “Being and Motion” in which he
shows how it is motion – more essential than time (which is derivative of
motion) – that is fundamental to being. Don’t be fooled by the title of the
“Monument to the End of the Road”. Although many experts say that we may be
on the precipice of a collapse of life as we know it, it will not mean the
end of the road. Even if we manage to get over this crisis and develop new
modes of transportation, roads will remain for the terrestrial. But as part
of the solution to our climatic challenge, perhaps roadways may become less
or even wholly different than what they are today. The sculpture proposed
here is to be made using standard highway building technologies. It should
not be near any other highway interchanges and ideally located somewhere it
can be viewed both below (as a pavilion) and from above (in buildings,
mountain roadways, or even air routes).

-- 

- *Anthony Stephenson*



*http://anthonystephenson.org/ <http://anthonystephenson.org/>*
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